davegodfrey: South Park Me. (Default)
Steam Trek - The Moving Picture

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davegodfrey: Flying Spaghetti Monster : Touched by his noodly appendage (FSM)
Recently I broke the circuit board on the keyboard trying to thread the flex through a bootlace, and as Maplin don't make it any more I had to buy a new one. (I'll probably go looking for a replacement on the Bay of E sometime soon, because for some reason this new one just isn't as nice to type on...) As I already had the keys all made up it was a fairly quick job to cut down the key-caps, cover the board in sticky-backed plastic, and a bit of leatherette, and this time rather than cutting the cable and risk damaging the keyboard I've done the sensible thing and wrapped string round the outside.

Last week I pottered around Oxford Street poking about MacCulloch & Wallis, and John Lewis' haberdashery departments. I picked up a cheap black shirt from the nice people at BHS and have comprehensively voided the warranty by sticking bits all over it. Its not quite complete yet, I think I'll get some of the organza style stuff and add another layer or two of ruffley bits to the cuffs, and maybe hide the seams behind more silk ribbon.

At the same time I picked up this nice dark brown strip of fake fur that's 15cm x 150cm, and have absolutely no idea what to do with it.

I'm thinking of sewing the edges together and just making a scarf, but that just seems rather boring. I've got about a square metre of black velvet, and quite a bit of the brown leatherette from the keyboard left over. Arm warmers maybe? Though I'd not wear them would anyone else want a pair? Or do you have better ideas? Preferably that don't involve drawing patterns or anything sensible like that...
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davegodfrey: South Park Me. (Default)
Two more cuffs. This time there's very little leatherette, but much more velvet. More Victorian sweatband than fetishwear.
Pictures behind the cut... )
I think I'll probably add some buttons to the one with the leather on it, it looks a little plain. I'll leave the other on as is though. When I get some more press studs and lace I'm very tempted to make matching ones for the other hand.
davegodfrey: Cyberman: The Future is Shiny (Shiny)
I picked up some leatherette from Boroviks, some cream lacy stuff from John Lewis, and some nice brassy coloured press studs and metal lacing clasps from MacCulloch and Wallis (I do love that shop so very much...) A little glue, string, some basic stitching and I'm quite pleased with this as a first attempt. The string will be replaced with proper laces in fairly short order, but it'll do to make sure the thing works.
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Pictures hidden for your convenience... )
And finally an action shot!  

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davegodfrey: Coelacanth (Science)
Steampunk hits Auntie!

Anyone fancy a trip to Oxford?

Although the fact they warned us that "The gun in the video is fictional and should not be copied"is a little excessive, Its a steam-powered pistol that shoots cubes at aliens. Everyone knows the best bullets for aliens are hexagonal!

Oh cock.

Nov. 29th, 2009 06:15 pm
davegodfrey: South Park Me. (Default)
I've broken my nice Steampunk keyboard. :( Yesterday I finally got sick of the brown tape I'd wrapped around the cable and decided to replace it by threading it through a bootlace with the middle bit removed. This is a trick I've seen on several builds, and I rather like it. Unfortunately cutting it is easy. Reconnecting is not. I cut far too close to the board, and through various errors ended up removing part of the PCB with the soldering iron. Now I'm no expert, but I'm pretty sure that's fatal.

Ho-hum I think, off to Maplin for a new £5 keyboard, swap the cables around, and this time I'll use glue and string, and not be so ambitious. Turns out they don't sell the keyboard any more. Cheapest one they have is £10, never mind, I'll get it and it'll be fine. It is of course too much to expect that I'll be able to reuse the original frame, but I have found a replacement. Unfortunately its actually worse to type on. The keys are really nasty and squishy, and even more inconveniently the squishy membrane bit is made of individual bits. I've already lost one opening up the back to take a look! And the long keys have these metal bits which probably help pring them back up, but after being cut down actually stop the key springing back!

Has someone seen the Steampunk genre and decided to make their products as awkward to mod as possible? Still the board itself is black, which at least cuts down on painting all the key-stems, and the plastic is a little flimsier, which means I can pull things apart with pliers, rather than dremelling everything.

Frankly the most annoying part of the whole thing is having to get a replacement lining for the key-trays. I'm out of the leatherette I got for next to nowt, and can't reuse it as the holes I've cut are the wrong shape and in the wrong place.
davegodfrey: South Park Me. (Default)
I have this cheap and cheerful laundry basket from Argos. It worked fine until a couple of months ago when the wood split, and wrapping elastic bands around it no longer works. Now I could just buy a new one. Maybe a metal one would be nicer. But I'm me, and have never been too good at this "doing logical things" business. I have monitors covered in sticky-backed-plastic for goodness' sake. What did you expect of me?

So I bought 3 metres of 15mm copper pipe, and some 90 degree angles, and cobbled this monstrosity together. Yes it cost far more than a nice wickerwork one, but it doesn't take up any more space than the old one. And I buildt it myself. Which is the point really.

I think I need about another metre of pipe and some T-junctions at the front to increase the stability a little, but I'm not unhappy. Especially as it hasn't fallen over yet.

davegodfrey: South Park Me. (Default)
So I might as well mention that I was nominated for an award, didn't win, but was a runner up.

In case you didn't know it was National Volunteers Week this week. I was a runner-up in the "Long Service" award (and by extension the "Best Team Contribution" category as I've just started as a Learning Volunteer), and got to go to HMS Belfast, receive a rather nice certificate, and was generally made to feel like volunteering is a good thing, and I'm not barking mad for sticking at it for this long.

The winner of the Long Service award was Jean Holder, who has been working for The Women's Library for 17 years, and is quite clearly a worthy winner. Highly commended entries were Peter Homon, with 15 years service at the Museum of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, and Mary Speers who has been working at the Estorick Collection for nearly 10 years, and is still going strong at the age of 90. As I commented to the other NHM people I was probably the youngest candidate for that award!

The team award was won by the Markfield Beam Engine and Museum, who have been restoring the engine into near working order over the past few years and have seen it become the focus of part of the Borough of Haringey's plans to regenerate Markfield Park. According to their website they hope to re-open in Summer 2009 with a programme of open days and steam days. Until now I didn't know this place existed on my doorstep, and I'm looking forward to it reopening. I reckon we could get a little steampunk pilgrimage down there without too much difficulty. Anyone interested?

davegodfrey: South Park Me. (Default)
Well for now. I'm pretty much out of things to modify.

I wasn't entirely happy with the buttons on the 15" monitor, so I bought some nice buttons, filed off the loops at the back and glued them on.

Monitor 1 )

Since the last update I've also completed the 19" monitor.

Monitor 2- Screen )

And now for the base...

Monitor 2 - Base )
And Lo. It was Done.


Yes. that is a periodic table mug you can see in the corner. And the china Parasaurolophus is a cream jug. Don't ask.
davegodfrey: South Park Me. (Default)

Today I went to see the Orchids over at Kew Gardens, and discovered another reason why 2009 is the year of real science. Its Kew Garden's 250th birthday, so raise glass of something nice and botanical to them sometime.

I also picked up the bits of copper pipe and angles that Dad had, so after getting hope I cut some pipes up and finished off this.

Three quick cuts and tighten up the compression joints et voila!

Piccies? )
davegodfrey: Cyberman: The Future is Shiny (Shiny)
Last time I painted the plastic parts, and covered it in wood-effect sticky-backed-plastic. At the time I didn't really know what I was going to do for the support. Building a new base, while still using parts of the existing stand turned out to be impractical- I don't have access to a drillbit the right size. Having seen these lamps from Professor Fzz made me think of alternative designs using plumbing parts. And when I realised what the four holes on the back were for- they're to attach the monitor to a wall like a flat panel TV- everything fell into place.

Brilliant, drill holes, attach the copper pipe (leftover from the computer) that'll work! I won't have to chop up small bits of wood to fit in the slots where the previous stand went. And I can rotate the thing by 90 degrees and mount it vertically if I really wanted to. I can't adjust the angle that the monitor is at, but that's a sacrifice I'm happy to make.

One problem, it falls flat on its face.I'll need to get a couple of 90 degree compression joints and another 8" or so of pipe and build a "U" shape, attach it to the front, and then I'll have a completed desktop set! Watch this space!
davegodfrey: South Park Me. (Default)
Pay attention [livejournal.com profile] steely_glint and [livejournal.com profile] sumerianhaze

davegodfrey: Cyberman: The Future is Shiny (Shiny)
So you've got a steampunk computer, and decor, but the mouse doesn't run very well on your antique desk, and you don't want to scratch it.

The Mouse Rug looks like an ideal replacement for the nasty foam ones most people normally use.

They come in a wide variety of patterns- I particularly like this Persian design from a rug in the National Museum of Art in Washington.

Xposted to [livejournal.com profile] steamfashion
davegodfrey: Hello Cthulhu! (Cthulhu!)
One cheap desk lamp, strip the plastic tubing from it, and then paint with some blue transparent enamel paint. Bit of the ubiquitous sticky-backed plastic, and it looks much nicer than before. And in the best traditions of Blue Peter here it is next to one I haven't done earlier.
Piccies behind a cut... )
davegodfrey: South Park Me. (Default)
I've done a computer, a trackball, a keyboard and a card reader.

Now for the biggie. The monitor. Currently I have two, a Samsung which might not be too difficult- build a frame attach a stand, like the [livejournal.com profile] vonslatt version, and all will be well, and a smaller 15" I bought at the same time as the original HP that until recently provided the guts of the Xion Aetheric Computational Engine.

Dismantling it, the plastic bits look like this. Note the "T" shaped part. This is the part that allows the monitor to pivot. The fact that it has a sort of plug shape is going to be important for phase 2:

Unfortunately it has built-in speakers, there are two separate circuit boards, and the stand is a horrible curvy monstrosity I'm not sure I can do anything with. Fortunately I do still have the rest of that Fablon sticky backed plastic, for the nice easy flat bits. (I swear I'll be making clothes out of it next.)

From behind. I think it'll need several coats of paint. And I'll have to do the ink-wash thing at some point. But its a start, and they're just minor points Liquid leaf is soluble in white spirit, which makes cleaning up any messy bits nice and easy.

Some spraypaint, liquid leaf and careful sticking later and the front looks like this (that pink thing is a Kaiyodo model of a Diplocaulus. Why can't Kinder Egg be as good as this?):

I haven't done anything to the unpainted base, and I'm not going to. It will be replaced by a block of wood drilled to accommodate the "plug" on the pivot piece, and then I'll build a base that allows me to attach it using the screw that holds it to the current base. So the base will be a squarish block, with a short square column that the largely completed bit is fixed to.

Quite what I'll do to the base, I'm not entirely certain. Maybe follow others in making the base look like marble/granite? Lion's feet? Some sort of brocade fabric? We shall see.
davegodfrey: South Park Me. (Default)
One of the things I like most about Steampunk is the clothes. But I haven't got much to wear, and what I do have doesn't have a very high mad science quotient. Well now I've done something about that.

The Godfrey & Partners Air Cooled Glove. Pat. Pending. )
Using it is actually surprisingly comfortable, though typing is a little awkward. I'm not sure one could touch-type in it. I've also modified the trackball to go with it, though I haven't done too much to it.

The Logical Technologies Tracking Ball Pointing Device )

 I'd like to do something with the ball (maybe some sort of black crystal?) But I don't know what it can be replaced with- being an optical unit I don't think any old ball will do. Those dots are probably there for a reason.  The dull grey scroll wheel looks a little out of place, but anything I do to that will have to be really hard wearing- paint would look good, but rub off in no time.
davegodfrey: South Park Me. (Default)
More computer case modding. I'm sure one of the flaws in my art is that I don't know when to leave a picture. If I was painting the Mona Lisa, Brian Sewell would be saying:

Had David been a genius he would have stopped with a single Pteranodon, however the flock he chose to include overwhelms the viewer, and one is left ultimately unsatisfied.

See what I mean... )
davegodfrey: South Park Me. (Default)
OK, so you've seen the Von Slatt masterpiece and Datamancer's beautiful variants on the theme of keyboards. There are other other versions too, [livejournal.com profile] mbarrick has made a version out of a considerably cheaper keyboard. Given I too am on a budget this is the plan I've followed.
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I have however made a truckload of mistakes, so you don't have to. I've got through three keyboards making this mod. breaking off the sockets for the keys seemed like a good idea, but as I ended up disliking the paintjob on the first one (and the PS/2 cable broke) I got a new board and started that bit again. As its a cheap £5 job from Maplin its not going to break the bank any time so no worries there.

The keys are already done so all I have to do is decorate the fascia. I picked up a smaller version of the flower button for the second enter key. The typeface is Baskerville Oldface. I thought about using roman numerals for the function keys like many before me, but its nice to be different sometimes. Plus I like the look of the cursive f's.

The album that provided the green leather for the bays on the PC had a large area of dark tan leather, which shops up nicely into sections to line the tray. As you can see the cutting out is not perfect, but nothing is stuck down and I'll go round the bits that show with some gouache so they aren't visible. Electrical tape is wrapped around the flex (If I ever get hold of mylar braided sleeving this will go over the top.) In the best tradition of Blue Peter I've still got masses of sticky-backed plastic, so that goes on the back and top. Some very small brass angle goes around the space bar.

More Fablon on the back, and metallic enamel paint...

The keys go in and some more brass angle goes on at the top. Black buttons with crystals in are the power/sleep/wake keys in the right-hand corner, and those plastic domes you stick on things are used to cover the LEDs. (I filed off the mirrored backs so the light shines through.)

I put the flower buttons into larger buttons to give them the same look as the other keys, and  replaced the totally unsuitable windows logo with some nice flowery arrows. (I think they're from winddings or something).

A shot with all the LEDs lit. I'm contemplating replacing the black crystal buttons with ones with brass, but for now I think its job well done. I still have plenty of brass angle left, so I might put some around the top of the function key trays, and take the edging down to meet the painted brass bit. I know the paint looks a bit scuffed, but I like the fact that it looks a bit used, as if this is a real antique and has seen some use. Maybe the owner took it home from the office after they brought in these nasty new white boxes?
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davegodfrey: Hello Cthulhu! (Cthulhu!)
A minor tweak to largely finish off the computer, and some serious progress on the keyboard. I'm not sure I want to start on a monitor yet, they just look to much like hard work.

One mod down, one progressing nicely. ) 

Unless I add some handles to the top (which won't happen for a while) I think its complete. (I wouldn't mind modifying the big silver panel, but it just isn't something I think I can do without running the risk of breaking it totally, nor do I know what to replace or cover it with.)

The keyboard however does need some work, but is getting on very nicely.

The surround is sprayed black, a few strokes of black enamel paint lend an industrial "used" look. The surrounds for the power keys, leds and the space bar are then touched up in copper enamel. I've done the same with the key-posts. A few coats of sealant, and it should be done.

A couple of hours in photoshop and the labels are written and printed off. All done, cut down, stuck on the buttons and placed on the spare keyboard to check how it all looks. I'll be covering the labels with Humbrol Glosscote varnish, which should be fine. Yep I'm happy with that. I need to pop down to John Lewis and get a smaller version of the flowery return button for the keypad enter key. I've followed [livejournal.com profile] mbarrick's lead and used a compass rose design on the cursor keys. Baskerville Old Face is quite a nice font for this I think, though I've used something more flowing for the f's on the function keys. I was tempted to use "Lucida Blackletter". Maybe for the [info]innerbrat's clockpunk mod?
davegodfrey: South Park Me. (Dave Godfrey)
A quick mod report-


davegodfrey: South Park Me. (Default)
The Evil Atheist Your Mother Warned You About

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